News

Efforts made on new U.S. legislation to simplify geothermal exploration review process

Patua geothermal power project site of Gradient Resources, Nevada (source: company)
Francisco Rojas 27 Feb 2015

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) has introduced the Geothermal Exploration Opportunity (GEO) Act to streamline the review process for simple exploration activities.

Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Geothermal Exploration Opportunity (GEO) Act to streamline the review process for simple exploration activities. Following introduction, Heller issued this statement:

“As many developers in Nevada know, the environmental review process for geothermal production is a grueling process. What’s worse is these companies are forced to go through the same process to simply test if a resource is viable. At a time when Nevada is playing a major role in the United States’ ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, the last thing our geothermal entrepreneurs need is unnecessary bureaucratic red tape,” said Senator Dean Heller. “For these reasons, I have introduced the GEO Act. The legislation will simplify the review process for initial exploration activities and give developers the tools they need to unleash Nevada’s abundant geothermal potential.”

Background:

The GEO Act creates a limited categorical exclusion for geothermal exploration activities on public lands so companies can test resources in Nevada and other western states.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates nearly 90 percent of the geothermal energy potential in the nation is on federal lands.

Under current rules, companies must go through a lengthy environmental review process just to see if a resource is viable, despite causing minimal surface disturbance.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that approval for exploration activities takes between 18 to 24 months.  That process serves as a significant impediment to the expansion of geothermal energy development across the West.

For more details please follow the link below:

Source: Senator Dean Heller’s Website